ST. MICHAEL, Minn. – J&B Group Inc. will cease all operations at its beef processing plant in Pipestone, Minnesota, by Nov. 22, or within two weeks after that date.

The company plans to move production of fresh and frozen ground beef and steaks to a processing plant in St. Michael, Minnesota. J&B Group has owned the Pipestone beef plant for approximately 12 years and employs approximately 145 individuals at the facility.

In a statement, Chuck Weum, president of the company, said the decision to close the plant was difficult “…and not a reflection of the quality of work done by our associates in Pipestone.”

“The decision to sell the Pipestone facility is a result of a number of factors: a change in the production portfolio, the investment of $7.2 million in anticipation of new business that did not materialize and our desire to invest in infrastructure at the St. Michael facility,” Weum explained. “By consolidating our operations, we gain efficiencies that will allow us to capitalize on growth opportunities while creating value in the marketplace.”

All associates affected by the plant closure will have opportunities to work at the St. Michael plant and will be eligible for relocation assistance, the company said. J&B also plans to hold job fairs at the Pipestone plant and to provide additional assistance to employees that are unable to relocate to St. Michael.

“We are working with our Pipestone associates to ensure they are getting the resources they need during this transition and are providing enhanced benefits and severance packages to help during this time,” Weum said.